So after some people, in a fit of reverse-snobbery, condemned certain lifestyle choices, I decided to venture beyond my “posh” cocoon and into areas uncorrupted by expensive coffee shops.
For years I have listened to male friends gasp in orgasmic exclamations while discussing the divine cuisine at this “Yapane Bath Kade” also known as the “Malay Street Kade”.
But no amount of begging, pleading, coaxing or violent threats could induce them to take me there. The age old excuse “It’s no place for girls” was tossed at me over and over again.
Driving past this place on Malay Street, all I could make out was a little black hole in a very dirty wall. There were no windows, no name board and not even a proper door. So I somewhat accepted that it’s possibly a dodgy place that would never meet my required standards of hygiene. But lately it seems that too many people have been rubbing it in. The size of cuttlefish portions and thickness of the crab curry etc. etc. And I knew I had to eat from here even at the risk of diarrhea.
On Saturday I was conveniently in the vicinity of this sacred place with a couple of males who were responsible for the above taunts. It was 2 pm and I knew the men were hungry and their resistance weak. So I did some strategic arm-twisting and predictably, they both relented on the condition that we pick up lunch and not eat in there. I agreed angelically. But with my fingers crossed, of course.
Moments later, I was surprised to find that it was nothing like the pit of horror these men described it to be. I insisted that we stay and eat and the boys agreed without much argument. I would like to think it was my powers of persuasion but I suspect it was the mouth-watering aroma of the omlette that was being served to the guy at the next table.
We had barely sat down when this guy slapped down 3 banana leaf “plates” in front of us and reappeared with a quaint contraption that resembled 4 buckets tied together.
“Sambada? Rathuda?” he asked me
Then he landed a huge scoop of rice on my plate and eyed me with undisguised scorn when I said “athi athi”.
Thus began our feast. Of steaming rice, Kos mallum, Kekiri, onions, Karavala, Pappadum, Dhal, an omlette and a very generous portion of thick cuttlefish curry. All this was complimented by a cup of Rasam for which I had no room left in my stomach.
As I devoured my food, I realized that the guys had not been faking their orgasms because the quality really did live up to everything they glorified it to be.
Once every scrap of food had been polished off the banana leaf, I washed my hands over a sink that I did not care to peer too closely at and turned around to find this guy thrusting a piece of paper in to my hands. At first I thought it was the bill and wondered why he was giving it to me but then I realized it was a piece of newspaper. It took me only a second to recover and while those wretched boys snickered, I calmly wiped my hands and walked out. Who cares if I didn’t know they were literally “paper serviettes”? My stomach was full and so was my heart.
So if you haven’t already been there, please do try it out. There is nothing fancy about it and even Pilla seems like a five star hotel in comparison. But the food is heavenly, the service quick and the prices, dirt cheap.
And now, it looks like I have gone and violated another anti-posh code. I’ve eaten regular Sri Lankan food and shamelessly raved about it. Oh well, I guess there’s just no redemption for me in the eyes of Berrykins. Can someone please just take the boy to Hikka?